Saturday, April 02, 2011

Look, I've got a Nook

I totally caved. In the back of my head, where the practical one can sometimes live (although, I think he's often on vacation, because, really, I live in a perpetual state of illogical) the need for the Nook wasn't exactly there. I told myself over and over, not trying to convince myself (because I really did believe this) "Why bother with a device when I can just pick up the book?"

It's the thinking man's iPad, right? And I don't have any purpose for the iPad in my life, either. Not really. Albeit they are neat, I won't drop $500 for one. 

(OK, you can disagree about the "thinking man's iPad" because the thinking man can take over the world on an iPad, whereas eReaders are a bit limited in their abilities...)

Two people I know have Kindles, and I've never gotten to meet one in person. So, when I introduced myself, and played around with theirs, I got to see them in action. The screen, how it looks like the printed page, is rather neat, but it still seemed clunky. 

I still wasn't convinced. No sir. Not me. 

Then, I started looking at my bookshelf and as I tried to pick something I wanted to read, I was less and less interested in the books that I had bought from the cheap-o section of "Half Price Books." I have no space for them. Our bookshelves are about to implode, and I may never read some of them. It goes back to the constant fight against read-for-fun or read-to-write. Do I pick up the weirdo books that I like to read, or do I pick up something literary that will make me think and, supposedly, offer me some insights on writing in general. 

I tried three different books one day, and none of them were what I wanted to read. 

Our library offers free digital downloads of audio books and eBooks. I have downloaded quite a few books to listen to and as I perused the eBook section, they had quite a few recent reads that I wanted to consume. What I also like about the digital bookstore is...no fines.

You see. I'm a "finer." Constant. Whenever I check something out at the library, I will forget about it and it will always be returned late. Normally it's a DVD or CD, which cost the most in fines. Sometimes it's a book. I'm also the type of library-goer that can't just choose one thing. I have to pile up. I know I won't read all of those books. Usually, I don't even read one of them! And then I get lazy and I don't want to drive to the library (it's not that far) and return everything because (usually) at the moment it's not convenient. 

It is not unusual for me to pay $15+ to clear my name.

So, the ability to go shopping for books or peruse digital library bookshelves became even more enticing. Also, being able to save some room on my bookshelves...and even getting the chance to download snippets started to appeal to me. 

And so, the bug bit me. And hard. I started to research different digital readers. I looked at the Kindle. I looked at the Sony eReader. I looked at some reader called Kobo. Then, I looked at the Nook.

Although it wasn't the cheapest (I didn't want some silly no-namer with no support), it was also the one reader that fit me. I liked it the most because the Kindle can't get library books...at least, not simply. There's some contrived way of doing it and I was going to have none of that. Then I read that the Nook (Barnes and Nobles' eReader) not only downloaded wireless from its own bookstore, but I could also read library books on it and shop in the new Google eBookstore. 

Yeah, you know how Borders is having some issues? My thought process was this: what if Barnes and Nobles did, too? As long as I have the Google eBookstore...right? I mean, Google is going to be around forever, isn't it? 

*crickets*

So, I bought the Nook. And I  am super-pleased with this purchase. I think it helps that I didn't buy it on a whim, that I actually took my time reading about it and thinking about it. It was an informed purchase. Those types, for me, don't happen often. 

I got right to it and went to my digital library to download a book I've been wanting to read since it came out last year. The first book I ended up downloading was "The Passage" by Justin Cronin. I didn't realize that the book was over 800 pages. This made me a bit nervous because I only have 14 days for my ebooks from the library before they self-destruct. 

Although I may not finish it in my 14 day span (I was able to check it out again, so I have it for another 2 weeks), the best part about reading it is that I don't have to deal with the clunkiness of such a giant book. Have you ever read a 800-to-1,000-page book? Sure they're intimidating, but they're also heavy. And not very ergonomic.

The Nook? Totally ergonomic. I get to have all the words without all the weight. 

Wee!

With it's shell made of unicorn skin and a screen that doesn't reflect and show too much glare, it's great to read. It took some getting used to. The idea of reading an entire book on a machine was a bit weird at first. I felt like I was turning my back on The Book. But, it's not the physical aspect that brings you to read the book (unless it's some amazingly handcrafted book), it's the words. 

I think one of my favorite benefits is having the dictionary at hand. A book like, "A Lion Among Men" by Gregory Maguire would be beneficial since it was chocked full of $1,000,000 words. I could/would use those words if I knew what they meant, but I wasn't going to sit with a dictionary as I read, so I used my context clues to figure them out. The dictionary on the device is rather nice. 

The only thing it needs is a USB slot, so I could plug in a book light so I could read at night in some dark corner.  Since it's purchase, I have gotten it protected by getting a silicon cover, a clear cover for the touch screen and a tweed case hand-sewn from Etsy. That, and the extended warranty.